The Supreme Court Thursday evening announced it will keep in place a stay that blocks a restrictive Louisiana abortion law. Chief Justice John Roberts joined the Court’s four liberals in preventing the law from going into effect.

The brief order gives the Center for Reproductive Rights, which is challenging the law, time to file a petition for certiorari. The Court, if it chose to hear that petition, would then rule on the merits of the case. The order is not a ruling on the merits of the case—only a ruling on whether an emergency stay is appropriate.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote a dissent arguing that the law should go into effect so that the Court can see how it affects state abortion clinics. He argues that the law might not have a dramatic effect on abortion availability. The dissent does not speak to the merits of the case, and cites only procedural issues.

Both opponents and supporters of the law agree that it would likely force all but one Louisiana abortion clinic to close.

Understanding Louisiana’s Abortion Law

In 2014, Louisiana enacted a restrictive abortion law that would require all abortion doctors to have privileges at hospitals within 30 miles of their clinics. The law would close all but one Louisiana abortion clinic.

The Supreme Court previously struck down a substantially similar Texas law in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.

Citing that ruling, the Center for Reproductive Rights challenged the law. A district judge in Louisiana initially blocked the law, but the state appealed to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. A three-judge panel held that the law differed substantially from the Texas law, and reversed the ruling of the lower court. The 5th Circuit is the same federal court that ruled in favor of Texas in Whole Woman’s Health, only to be later reversed by the Supreme Court.

The Center for Reproductive Rights appealed to the Supreme Court. The Court last Friday issued a temporary stay to block the law from going into effect February 4th. Now the stay is extended, and the law will not go into effect Friday, as it otherwise would have.

Chipping Away at Roe

Record numbers of Americans—70% or more—believe that Roe v. Wade should not be overturned. One recent survey even found that half of Republicans do not think the ruling should be reversed.  Republicans know that an outright reversal of Roe will be difficult, so they’ve instead opted to slowly chip away at it. The goal is to make abortion technically legal, while still inaccessible. Over time, they can slowly erode the law with new precedent, and perhaps eventually reverse it.

Central to this strategy is lying. We’ve seen this already with the response to New York’s recent move to protect abortion rights. The far right now insists that mothers routinely abort babies at 40 weeks, just for the fun of it. They hope that judges will believe them, and act to protect babies from their apparently homicidal mothers. The media is an enabler here. A 2016 study found that media coverage of abortion prominently features men lying about abortion.

Right now, there are at least 13 cases that could eventually make their way to the Supreme Court. The Louisiana law is just the beginning of the right’s long-game strategy. They remain mobilized and energized. Meanwhile, many on the left are unaware of the immediate threat to Roe.

Though 85% of voters say they do not want new state-level abortion restrictions, less than half have heard of these laws. Only about half say they are aware of the immediate threat to abortion rights.

Anti-Life, Anti-Choice

As the right attempts to destroy choice, they also continue to enact every conceivable strategy to harm families who opt to keep surprise pregnancies. They’ve done nothing to halt the epidemic of maternal deaths. The U.S. is now the most dangerous developed nation in which to give birth. They steadfastly oppose all strategies that are proven to reduce abortion rates. And they do not want to offer any support—food stamps, welfare, health insurance—to babies born to impoverished mothers.

Anti-choicers don’t care about life. They care about punishing women, including through the suffering of children.

Source: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/2/7/1832991/-Supreme-Court-Upholds-Stay-to-Block-Louisiana-Abortion-Restriction?utm_campaign=recent